"The Music of Erich Zann" references Erich Zann playing in a cheap theater orchestra, presumably in Paris (?), and playing a wild Hungarian dance on his violin to "ward off or drown something out." Other than that, all I remember is a lot of chanting about Cthulhu and the Goat with the Thousand Young. I'll have to check to see if I can find anything else.
I don't think jazz was mentioned much in Lovecraft stories, if at all. And I wouldn't be surprised to find out he didn't like it, since from what I have read about him he didn't like many things from his own era, and thought his own time period was decadent.
But the 1920's jazz strongly establishes a sense of that time period, and I think when distorted and mixed with ambient noises creates an appropriately creepy atmosphere.
I keep thinking of Great Old ones and other horrors picking up human radio signals while out in space*, or buried in the ice, or deep under the ocean...
*Drifting in the ethers of space, a medium through which one can fly using wings and also through which sound can travel.
Post by geneweigel on Oct 25, 2012 10:01:41 GMT -5
I played the first BIOSHOCK computer game about a guy in the 1960's who crashes into the ocean and finds a lighthouse-like structure that leads down to an underwater experimental community of the 1930's that changed in a parallel of 40's-50's trends but the scientists gave them physiology enhancement drugs and it fell into ruin. Which gives you a reason to shoot the shit out of the place.... Anyway there are 1930's tunes in the background one was Crosby's BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? echoing off the walls of the submarine atmosphere. Creepy.
FWIW, I've played CoC since ~1987 or so, and have enjoyed it a lot, in a variety of different styles (think epic/high fantasy vs. low fantasy vs. historical fantasy, etc.). I think Masks is a brilliant adventure campaign, but I also agree that it's more Indiana Jones in style and tone than what HPL's stories represent.
Gary: if you're looking for other adventures/campaigns that are really good, Pagan Publishing (as well as a few other third-party publishers) did several others that are top-notch.
Hi Allan, thanks for the feedback. We should be playing "Cthulhu Now" this Friday and I will let you guys know how it goes. I am looking forward to trying something different and I'll go into it with an open mind. I'm expecting an X-Files kind of game... which I would be just fine with. Hell, I'm just glad someone's running an adventure!
If I like this system, I'll probably pick up a rule book and a few adventures. I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of the 1920's era campaign, and also of the challenge of running a "truly Lovecraftian" scenario.
Post by geneweigel on Oct 29, 2012 17:37:14 GMT -5
The miniatures are great alone let me just clarify that. The RAFM ones too.
To clarify my position on the game itself, well it is great if you adhere to anthologies starting in the 70's called CTHULHU MYTHOS which incl. HPL shorts mixed in with other takes by non-Kalem types over actual Lovecraft and Kalem types. The game feel down to play all fits in a subgenre of what RUNEQUEST was to D&D some like me find it absolutely redundant and unnecessary and others like the collectability and feeling of being part of something larger and different. So it isn't just the game, its the whole package inc. DEITIES & DEMIGODS "take" on the "HPL mythos" as part of a greater whole.
"Dad, can I have a shoggoth for Christmas?" "No!" (sternly) "But, whhyyy?" (whiny voice) "Because, although NOW you say you will take care of it, I know what would happen. I would end up being stuck with taking care of it, feeding it, and cleaning its cage -- and then one day it would get big enough to rebel against us and it would kill and eat the whole family."
I think I'm living that story except its a "beautiful puppy" (pekingese) the kids got four years ago with the aesthetic appeal of a Lovecraftian horror that fell into my lap almost immediately. The only good thing is her teeth aren't sharp enough to make effective snap when she gets the most baths I've ever given a dog from the stench.
We played Cthulhu Now last Friday and had a good time with it. We played an introductory scenario out of the rule book. Three professors from Miskatonic University and an FBI agent investigate a haunted house... I will post a description of the action and my impressions of the game when I get some more time.
All I will say right now is I think some reasons the game went so well was that we had five Lovecraft fans at the table and our GM made some good decisions in keeping the game moving along. And a nice bonus was the Mansions of Madness boardgame tiles and miniatures were used for props.
“A man may do both. For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!” —J.R.R. Tolkien
That is the question to Chaosium and to fans like me who think its the wrong genre. It may never be addressed because I think Chaosium is too far invested into their Derlethian Ctlhulhu product.
A few years ago my cousin showed up with a "product" for my birthday called the "ART OF H.P. LOVECRAFT'S CTHUHU MYTHOS". For a joyful moment as I swung the cover open their was a wondrous hope of a collection of illustration from the beginning. Instead it was mostly "THROW IN A TENTACLE = CTHULHU" type art that was mostly from Chaosium products. I was a hair's breadth from smashing this present over his fucking head with...
"YOU IDIOT!!! DIDN'T YOU DO THIS TO ME BEFORE WITH DARK SUN?!?!?!"
WARNING: Here is another could have been better book that I got as a present from Taylor: Conan: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Savage Barbarian DO NOT CONFUSE THIS WITH THE OTHER CONAN BOOK. THIS ONE IS BRAIN DEAD AND NON-INFORMATIVE TAKE FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY READ ALMOST EVERY CONAN COMIC BOOK WITH NO REFERENCE EXCEPT FORMER MARVEL CHIEF EDITOR ROY "ROY BOY" THOMAS' VAGUE MEMORIES. THIS THING NEEDS ANOTHER GUIDE TO THIS GUIDE.
Elmer Gurgee, Professor of Zoology (Cryptozoologist) Clarence Peabody, Professor of Arabic (Occult Expert) Liam E. R. Macgregor, Expert author on History and Archaeology (Lost Civilizations) Richard "Dick" Johnson, FBI agent (contacts with Delta Green)
The game started with the professors at Miskatonic University having a discussion about their less academically respectable interests, when Professor Gurgee gets a cell phone call from a friend in Boston, Fred, who tells him about another friend's house that has been abandoned for years now due to many mysterious accidents and deaths that have occurred there over the past several decades.
"Hello Fred! What a coincidence that Professor Peabody is in my office right now, and this sort of thing is right up his alley," Professor Gurgee tells Fred. "We'd be glad to look into it."
The three academics load into their (retro woody) PT cruiser and drive from Arkham to Boston, where there is an abandoned house on a large lot. Standing outside the front door of the house is FBI agent "Dick" Johnson, who is here to look into the cold cases. Some of the deaths in the house had suspected foul play.
Professor Gurgee, with his fanny pack of gear and Infrared Imager in hand, enters the house first, while Special Agent Johnson rolls his eyes at these ridiculous academic types. Agent Johnson notices one of the professors packing a pistol and makes a comment about it: "Do you got a permit for that?" (each character in the group packs a pistol except Prof. Gurgee). They also notice that they don't have any cell phone or internet access while within a certain radius of the house, which creeps them out a little bit.
As they are rummaging around the rooms, Macgregor finds a room full of junk and a nailed-shut cabinet. Forcing it open he recovers an occult book and some Corbitt diaries.
Going upstairs they find the master bedroom. Prof. Gurgee sees something on his heat imager! While looking around, the bed flies across the room at Agent Johnson! Agent Johnson is convinced there must be some mechanical device or trap door under the bed, but they see nothing. Just then, they all hear some tapping as if on pipes, and it sounds like it is coming from downstairs. Following the sound, they go into the basement. Agent Johnson descends the stairs first, breaking through one of the rotten steps but not falling. As he gets to the bottom of the stairs in the cellar, a knife flies at him from under the stairs. Agent Johnson deflects it, and it falls to the ground, and then he runs around the back of the stairs but sees no one there. Prof. Gurgee tries to grab the knife, but the knife as if with a will of its own flies out of his hand, cutting him! Prof. Gurgee shieks and runs back upstairs and starts whining about needing to go to the hospital. The others ignore him, and put a bucket over the mysterious knife and pile heavy objects on the bucket.
"I think I need to go to a hospital now. This really burns," Professor Gurgee says.
"Don't be such a baby." The others continue to explore the basement.
Someone discovers a rotted part of one of the walls. Agent Johnson enters a crawl-space into a sort of hidden sub-cellar, and is swarmed by giant rats. He pistol whips one, and it squeals causing the rats to retreat. Johnson and the others all crawl through and come out to door with CHAPEL OF CONTEMPLATION: OUR LORD GRANTER OF SECRETS inscribed on archway above. Through the door is a large empty room, and at the far end a sort of stone slab with what appears to be a dead body on it.
The group cautiously enters the room, and the corpse sits up and gets to its feet. Everyone loses a few sanity points, except for Prof. Gurgee who is lagging behind. Pistols are drawn and someone fires a shot to hit the walking corpse right between the eyes... yet it has no effect. "That can't be!" More sanity points are lost!
The dead thing raises a hand in a gesture to Agent Johnson, who becomes slack-jawed and drooling, with eyes glazed over. Johnson turns his pistol upon Prof. Peabody! He fires and misses! Prof. Gurgee, now in the room, tackles Agent Johnson and they tumble to the dusty floor as the walking corpse continues to slowly advance towards them. The jolt seems to bring Agent Johnson to his senses or pulls him out of the trance he was seemingly in. The entire group retreats out of the chapel area, and they notice the walking corpse does not go past the doorway.
They hear some noises behind them: PING PING PING THUNK! The knife they put under the bucket shot out and impaled itself into a wooden beam in the wall, as it flew in the direction of the chapel. Making some assumptions about this, Liam and Johnson pull the knife out of the wood and with their combined strength try to hold it and keep it under control.
Their idea is the knife is trying to 'get' to the corpse in the chapel. Elmer is skeptical of this, but Liam and Johnson go forward with their plan and return to the chapel with the knife. When they stab the walking corpse, it moulders away into black dust. They were right!
Checking their cell phones, now it seems they have reception again. How odd.
Elmer calls his friend back -- the one who started the whole adventure. "Fred? Yeah, your house had some bad mold in it. But it's cleaned out now."